UPDATE : 2023.9.17 Sun 23:40
What it takes to be a leader

When you hear the word ‘leader’, who pops up into your head?

Abraham Lincoln? Winston Churchill? Harry Truman?

These people are considered the world’s most successful and outstanding leaders in history. Like these people, a leader is a person who has the ability to lead others. Leaders should guide based on their own experiences and thoughts in the right direction. Moreover, these days the ability to lead (leadership) is highly required.

But when hearing events such as the Sewol Ferry accident and the state of MERS, we realize how a leader’s ability can cause chaos to the members. Therefore, no matter how small or big, a leader in a group should always have a big responsibility and pressure put upon them. But someone who has only a big responsibility and pressure is not cut out to be a leader. To be a leader, the person has to satisfy a number of other qualities. So, in order to become a leader, what qualities are required to win that spot?

Leaders should always have confidence in their decisions. People do not regard someone who doesn’t even have confidence in the decision he or she made as a leader. This is why, believing in yourself and having confidence is needed in order to lead people in the direction which you think is right. People have been naturally attracted to those who have confidence in themselves since the beginning of mankind. So make sure you have confidence in your decision and your value when leading.

But always remember that having too much confidence and not accepting others’ opinions will make you an obstinate old man. If you push your thoughts too much, your members won’t be able to propose their thoughts which will lead to a failure in the end. Always keep in mind that you could be wrong and stay open to accept others’ opinions. Also, never forget to truly apologize about your bad judgement publically.

Another thing required for a leader is interpersonal relationship. A leader must have a remarkable relationship with other people. Those who have a remarkable relationship with people try to understand others and are willing to have a conversation positively with honesty and with respect. Keep in mind that people treat you with the same attitude that you treat them.

Moreover, leaders should know how to be devoted to his members. Sometimes the leader will be encountered with many obstacles and devotion could be the only way to get through. Commitment of a leader inspires and motivates the members and they will give you infinite trust which is the main source to be a leader.

As I mentioned, to pick the most important quality of a leader, I would say it is trust. Everything is meaningless if the trust between the leader and the members is destroyed. The members will do nothing you suggest if there is no trust. So, a leader must give and also receive trust with the members. To do so, leaders must convey unpleasant news without any lies with a sincere mind. In addition, leaders should never do work confidentially without the members knowing. Keep all the information transparent or else you will gradually lose your members trust.

Here is a leadership quality we can learn from one of the most successful and respected businessmen, Steve Jobs. He was an unconventional leader and the first quality he had was vision. He didn't like to improve or upgrade things that were already out there in the world. He was always inspired to take new moves that had never been done. One of the examples he created was the iPad. People didn't want something that wasn't a computer, nor a smartphone. However, it became a revolutionary item and became a huge hit. "I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next," said Steve Jobs during a 2006 interview with NBC's Brian Williams. We shouldn't stick on the status quo but rather look towards a new vision.

Therefore, to be a leader, a lot of qualities are needed. Before going out for a leader, evaluate your personal leadership qualities. But even if you don’t satisfy the qualities that I have mentioned, don’t be too discouraged. Your qualities will gradually be completed through continuous self-development and someday you will have what it takes to be a leader.

By Jeong Seung-in, reporter

To be a leader, a lot of qualities are needed.

Seung-in Jeong  samcandothat@naver.com

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